Don’t be selfish … Choose to place your needs above all else!

Initially this may strike you as somewhat of an oxymoron, yes? Interestingly enough, this message has been coming to me from a number of different angles of late. In a recent training my teacher, Sherry Sidoti, discussed how the role of a yogi involves a prioritizing of self. Sherry advised “Do not give away your power by engaging in a conversation in which you are asked to justify a self-serving lifestyle.” She went on to discuss how it is impossible to effectively carry out ones’ life’s work if not foundationally maintaining your own well-being through mindful self-care.

At times I admittedly feel challenged to be fully at peace in carrying out a self-serving lifestyle. I acknowledge that it is not only what’s best for me, but also for the greater good of all individuals with whom I interact on a day-to-day basis. Yet still, unfortunately, sometimes that filthy seven letter word – selfish – comes to mind. During these times I try to draw to mind the fact that I have experienced times throughout my life when I may not have been able to offer my best self to my family, friends, colleagues, and clients because I was simply not prioritizing my own self-care.

Recently I read a blog post written by Chelsea Roff, another teacher who has a strong presence in my life. In this post she shared, “I grew up thinking of self-care as something indulgent, even selfish ‒ something you do only after you’ve checked off everything else on your list. The truth is, neglecting self-care and trying to give from a half empty tank is a lot more selfish than heroic.” This truly hit home for me. It inspired me to write …

As I basked in the sunshine partaking in a delicious late afternoon snack from the daily harvest of the garden following a fabulous Esalen massage, I endeavored to soak up my first significant stretch of me time since heading off to the west coast one week prior. And still, I found myself struggling to simply take in the goodness of an afternoon off. For, it seems that we are hardwired to “go go go” and “do do do.” Even as I sat immersed in an environment which I’ve come to believe to be one of the most beautiful places on the planet, I felt challenged to give myself permission to just be; to fully take it all in; to embrace the pampering, and the downtime.

I elected to optimize upon this time. I mindfully drew to my awareness the most important aspects of my self-care routine such that when I returned home I might be able to re-affirm these as priority throughout my normal day-to-day. For, this is simply not optional. My loved ones, my colleagues, and my clients deserve to experience the best Josette possible. In proceeding, I am consciously choosing to acknowledge the fact that it is only through maintaining myself as priority – and through softening to the thought of some pampering here and there – that I can and will be able to best offer this.

As I sat reflecting, I was reminded of a mantra to which I was first introduced a number of years ago … “I nourish myself for the service of others.” Makes sense, yes? I challenge you now to consider what crucial aspects of self-care you might choose to grant to yourself on a daily basis so that you too will be able to face each day offering those around you your best (enter name here) possible?!

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